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Full text of "Verdict On India"

CHAPTER V
IX SEARCH OF AN ARTIST
IT is at this point that the book really begins.
It begins now, after months of hospitals and stretcher and
'gettbg out of bed and going back again.    I was aUast able to
stand on my own feet.   And a man sec* ?s much with his feet as
with his eyes.
Let us vun: up our progress to date. For a brief space we have
watched the pageant from the steps of the Viceregal throne.  We
have met a few celebrities.   We have had a glimpse of the wild
North-West Frontier. We   have seen the inside of an Indian
hospital.  Many voices have echoed round our bedside, and they
have set us studying the heart of India's problem, the Hindu
religion, which has taken us back inlo the misty beginnings^ of
history. At the other end of the scale we have learned something
of the Indian press and the Indian films-
It is not a very impressive array of material, though it is more
than some author^ have considered sufficient for a book on India.-
However. at last we shall be able to add to it, in good measure.
We have a great deal to do and a great deal to see, and it is
difficult to knoTv where to start. If we were principally interested
in politics, the obvious person to interview would be Gandhi, but
Gandhi happened to be locked up. Whether he was rightly or
wrongly locked up is a matter which we shall eventually be
obliged to consider; in the meantime it need not greatly concern,
us. For though we are extremely interested in politics we are
-even more interested in people—and the question is, how do we
get to know the people ? Is there any short cut to an understanding
of the national psychology ? Where can we find mass emotion
condensed, mass aspiration crystallized into significant form ?
Obviously, in art. The modern Indian artists and the modem
Indian architects are the men to guide us to the people, to show us
the patterns in which they are grouping themselves, the high lights
<ind low lights of their thought. The accent, of course, is on the.
<vord modern. The temples, the mosques, the monuments of
antiquity, thf-^e ran come later. After all, they are part of every-